The controversial indie blog briefly went offline in 2012, due to alleged hacking of the site. No one at the time knew who hacked the account.
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At the time of the incident, the site’s anonymous founder Carles told Motherboard: “My hosting company and support team say that there are signs of foul play on the server, and some of the last actions before it crashed are very suspicious. My server disk has crashed and remote backups were sabotaged.”
The Motherboard article's author Derek Mead, who went on to become VICE's Editor in Chief, said that the site's backups were also deleted and that the server had collapsed, implying that a bad actor or actors obtained access to his system(s) through a planned, purposeful attack.
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However, now a decade later, Grimes has taken responsibility for this incident during a recent interview with Vanity Fair - where she states that it was because the blog had posted a photo of the singer kissing her friend and a humiliating story.
“I was just at a party with my friends,” she told Vanity Fair. “Someone took this photo, and it got leaked to this website called Hipster Runoff.”
Grimes added: “Back in the day, before the woke era, I actually got cancelled for this” — referring to the picture of her kissing her friend which went viral.
It is a WILD plot twist that Grimes is now taking credit for taking down Hipster Runoff in 2012. What a ludicrous thing to admit in a video while talking about being canceled! https://t.co/swn5XhVVQx— ᴅᴇʀᴇᴋ ᴍᴇᴀᴅ (@derektmead) March 23, 2022
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Grimes proudly stated that "blackmailing" the blog into taking the photograph down was her "proud hacker moment", as she collaborated with an unnamed friend who had experience working in the video game industry and knew about DDoS attacks.
In a blog post by cyber expert Jackie Singh, on her blog Hacking But Legal, Singh explains that a DDoS attack is illegal in the USA, and that admitting that she was a part of this could leave Grimes with some legal consequences.
Singh's blog post goes into detail about the ramifications of this, and argues that: "For someone who can’t stop ranting about “wokeness” and “cancellation”, Grimes doesn’t seem concerned about any actual risk associated with admitting crimes to a major magazine."
Watch the full interview with Vanity Fair below.
Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter